Food & Drinks

EIGHT FANTASTIC ROSES YOU’VE (PROBABLY) NEVER HEARD OF

10th August, 2020 by Patrick Schmitt

While Provence has become the go-to source for pale pink refreshment, there are plenty of other places creating delicious, delicate, dry rosés, and we’ve rounded up the most exciting examples from around the world.

All the wines below hail from this year’s Global Rosé Masters, a unique tasting of pink wines that sees the samples assessed side by side with no prior knowledge of their source.This allows the rosés from Provence to be sampled alongside equivalents from any wine-producing area of the planet, and that way see if little-known labels fare favourably against the benchmarks.With this in mind, we have rounded up some of the more unusual medal-winners from this year’s Global Rosé Masters to prove that you don’t need to stick to tried-and-tested pink wine places for delicious rosé refreshment.But why should you look beyond the most common sources you may be wondering? Well, part of joy of drinking is trying something new, and surprising those you choose to share it with.There’s also often a financial incentive too – more obscure sources of wine tend to command relatively lower prices, quite simply because there is generally less pressure on supply.However, that’s not to suggest you turn your back on the benchmarks, but just try something a little different alongside the great yardstick rosés of Provence, and increasingly Tuscany too, as well as Navarra and Rioja.So, read on to find out our recommendations for eight fantastic roses you’ve (probably) never heard of, as well as some more information about The Global Rosé Masters 2020.

8. LUZÓN ROSADO COLECCIÓN

  • Producer: Bodegas Luzón
  • Country: Spain
  • Region: Jumilla
  • Grape variety: Monastrell
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Residual sugar level: 2.5g/l
  • Closure type: Agglomerated cork
  • Colour: Pale salmon pink
  • Medal: Silver in the Global Rosé Masters 2020
  • Price: £9.50

You often find the Monastrell grape in top rosés from Provence, and particularly the great pinks from the region of Bandol, with the variety called Mouvedre in France. But this example is unusual in being made entirely with this grape, and hailing from the wonderful, if little-known, Spanish wine producing area of Jumilla. Here, old vines and hot conditions yield a ripe fruity style of rosé with fleshy red berry fruits and a touch of strawberry jam, although the wine is dry and fresh. In short, it’s a youthful, clean, pleasing full-flavoured rosé with a pale salmon pink appearance to make it look as though it is Provençal.

7. BORN ROSÉ

  • Producer: Born Rosé Barcelona
  • Country: Spain
  • Region: Penedès
  • ABV: 11.5%
  • Grape Variety: 85% Grenache, 15% Tempranillo
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Price band: £10-15
  • Residual sugar level: 1.76 g/l
  • Closure type: Vinolok
  • Colour: Salmon pink
  • Medal: Gold

Among the delicate pale dry Provençal rosés sampled in this year’s Global Rosé Masters was this delicious pink wine from Penedès in Spain. Called Born Rosé, it has all the appealing hallmarks of fine French rosé – peach, pomegranate and citrus zest – but a just touch more juicy strawberry fruit than one generally gets from Provence. It also takes some of its packaging cues from the famous French pink wine producing region, with a paired-back appearance and a classy-looking glass stopper.

6. RESERVE ROSÉ

  • Producer: Mission Hill Estate Winery
  • Country: Canada
  • Region: Okanagan Valley
  • ABV: 12.9%
  • Grape Variety: 50% Merlot, 45% Syrah, 5% Pinot Noir
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Price: £12
  • Residual sugar level: 4 g/l
  • Closure type: Screwcap
  • Colour: Pale pink, pretty, ballet shoe appearance, but not as pale as provencal rose
  • Medal: Silver

Moving away from the Med, this year’s tasting saw us try some fine pink wines from Mission Hill Estate Winery, Canada’s most famous producer. Hailing from the stunning Okanagan Valley, this particular keenly-priced rosé featured a touch of red berry fruit along with plenty of juicy ruby grapefruit, and a fresh, crisp apple taste on the finish – this part of wine world yields wines with plenty of bright acidity.

5. ROSÉ DE STRANDJA

  • Producer: Chamlija
  • Country: Turkey
  • Region: Strandja Mountain
  • ABV: 13%
  • Grape Variety: 45% Pinot Noir, 30% Papaskarasi, 25% Kalecik Karası
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Price: £18
  • Residual sugar level: 1 g/l
  • Closure type: Agglomerated cork
  • Colour: v pale salmon pink
  • Medal: Silver

If you want to shock your rosé quaffing friends safe in the knowledge that what you are serving is fine and fresh, then few bottles are better than this pink wine from Turkey’s Chamlija. Using Pinot Noir and native grapes of the Eastern Med, Papaskarasi and Kalecik Karası, this is a beautiful dry, delicate pale rosé that marks a major break from the norm – which is a Grenache-based pink from Provence. In terms of style, this Turkish rosé from the Strandja Mountain has a lovley juicy fresh combination of citrus and nectarine fruit.

4. SCALUNERA ETNA ROSATO DOC

  • Producer: Torre Mora
  • Country: Italy
  • Region: Sicily
  • ABV: 13%
  • Grape Variety: 100% Nerello Mascalese
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Price: £15-£20
  • Residual sugar level: 4 g/l
  • Closure type: Natural cork
  • Colour: pale salmon pink
  • Medal: Silver

For those who love Italian reds, you may be aware of Sicily’s volcanic wines from the black vineyards of Etna made from the cherry-scented native grape, Nerello Mascalese. However, rosés from this area are rare, and hence our surprise to find that one of this year’s delicious pale pink drops was an Etna Rosato, as opposed to the usual Rosso. In line with all the wines from this distinctive place, it’s loaded with red berry fruit, and plenty of fresh acidity, along with the hallmarks of fine rosé – it has piles of peach, pear and pink grapefruit appeal.

3. ROSÉ SINGLE VINEYARD HEDGEHOG

  • Producer: Alpha Estate
  • Country: Greece
  • Region: Amyndeon
  • ABV: 14%
  • Grape Variety: 100% Xinomavro
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Price: £19.50
  • Residual sugar level: 1.9 g/l
  • Closure type: Agglomerated cork
  • Colour: pale salmon pink
  • Medal: Silver

Having tried wonderful rosés from right along the Med in this year’s Global Rosé Masters, from Provence to Sicily and then further east, into Turkey, it was pleasing to see that Greece can also yield wonderful pink wine refreshment. Using the native Xinomavro grape from a special vineyard called Hedgehog, respected producer Alpha Estate has managed to craft a fine rosé with plenty of crisp apple brightness and ripe strawberry juiciness. So, expect a gently oily, and bright style of very pale refreshment – like the great pinks of Provence.

2. CHERRY GARDEN ROSÉ

  • Producer: Gusbourne Estate
  • Country: UK
  • Region: Kent
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Price: £25
  • Residual sugar level: 0.5 g/l
  • Closure type: Agglomerated cork
  • Colour: Quite intense salmon pink
  • Medal: Silver

With the excitement surrounding England’s fast emerging fine sparkling wine scene, there is a feeling among some UK producers that the country’s still wines are being overlooked. But, as we found out in this year’s competition, the nation can yield high-quality crisp rosé to complement its taught style of fizz – and if you want to taste this for yourself, then Gusbourne’s Cherry Garden Rosé is a great place to start. If one were to compare the style of this Kent-sourced Pinot-based wine a with fine Provençal pink, then you can expect a bit more juicy strawberry fruit than you would find in a French rosé, but also a firmer citrus-like acid finish. This means that the wines seems to start slightly sweet, but end beautifully bright.

1. SCALA DEI PLA DELS ANGELS

  • Producer: Scala Dei
  • Country: Spain
  • Region: Priorat, Catalonia
  • ABV: 14.5%
  • Grape Variety: 100% Grenache
  • Vintage: 2019
  • Price: £22.50
  • Residual sugar level: 1.1 g/l
  • Closure type: Natural cork
  • Colour: Bright, quite deep salmon pink
  • Medal: Gold

For those drinkers who love Grenache, Spain’s Priorat wine region should be on their radar, and if it is, then the region’s oldest producer, Scala Dei, should also be known to them. But, while this part of Iberia is famed for its powerful and long-lived reds based on Grenache, crafted with great expertise by Scala Dei, it is not a place that’s famous for pink wines – in Spain, the rosé region of note is Navarra. But here is an outstanding rosé based entirely on Grenache using the great old vines of Scala Dei’s vineyards in Priorat. As we’ve commented on before, it’s crammed with freshly-crushed red berries, peach, citrus zest and orange blossom, and, because it’s a powerful, quite heady rosé with plenty of ripe fruit and brightness, it does provide a rather dangerous all-too-easy-to-drink form of refreshment.

ABOUT THE GLOBAL ROSÉ MASTERS

The Global Rosé Masters is a competition created and run by the drinks business, and forms part of its successful Masters series for noble grape varieties, such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; major wine styles, from sparkling to fortified; and famous regions including Rioja, Champagne and Tuscany.The competition is exclusively for rosé. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Rosé Master.Please visit The Global Masters website for more information, or, to enter future competitions – giving you the chance to feature online and in print – please call: +44 (0) 20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: [email protected]

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